The 2023 NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching. Teams now have three days to finalize their remaining business before the trade market is closed for the season at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 9. Some teams, like the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks, may look to get things done ahead of time, but others will be working the phones right up until the final minutes.
As the rumor mill continues to churn, here’s a look at some of the latest news and notes from around the league:
Nets, Mavericks make Irving trade official
The Nets-Mavericks blockbuster involving Kyrie Irving was reported on Sunday but did not become official until early on Monday evening. That’s because the Nets were exploring options to expand the deal into a three-team trade. One such possibility the Nets were interested in, according to Marc Stein, was acquiring Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. Stein added that the Nets were interested in Toronto’s Pascal Siakam as well, but that one was always unlikely.
With no deal looking imminent, the teams finally called it into the league. According to ESPN’s Tim Macmahon, the Mavericks wanted the deal completed by Monday so that Irving can practice with the team on Tuesday and make his debut Wednesday against the Clippers. That left the Nets only hours to aggregate the salaries of either Spencer Dinwiddie or Dorian Finney-Smith to make this a bigger trade, and they were unable to do so.
Heat open to moving Lowry
The Miami Heat have shaken off a rough start to climb up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference at 29-25, but while they now look like a solid playoff team, they are not a title contender. That makes them an interesting team to watch heading into the deadline.
One potential option to shake things up is trading veteran point guard Kyle Lowry, who has been hampered by a knee problem and struggled when he has been on the floor. The team is now open to moving him if the right deal comes along, according to The Miami Herald.
Lowry, now 36 years old, is averaging 12 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game, but shooting just 39.6 percent from the field. He’s also in the second year of a three-year, $85 million deal. All of that will make any deal complicated, but a contender could still be interested if they see Lowry as a helpful facilitator and locker room presence. That includes the Los Angeles Clippers, who are in desperate need of a point guard and have plenty of trade candidates already on the roster.
Simmons has no trade value
After the Nets traded Kyrie Irving to the Mavericks on Sunday, there are all sorts of questions about where they go from here. Do they just keep Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith and try to compete at the top of the Eastern Conference once Kevin Durant returns from injury? Or do they now look to trade the likes of Durant and Ben Simmons to try and recoup some of the first-round picks they’ve sent out in recent years?
Most of those conversations have centered around Durant, and for good reason considering he’s one of the league’s all-time greats and requested a trade in the summer. The Nets will surely want a massive return for him, however, which is why a deal didn’t get done in the offseason, and will make one difficult now as well. But if he’s made available, numerous teams will be on the phone immediately.
That is not the case for Simmons, who has no trade value around the league, according to Bobby Marks. He’s more reluctant than ever to shoot the ball, has already missed 15 games due to injury and generally looks like a shell of the player that made the All-NBA Third Team in 2020. No team is going to want to trade for him in this state, especially with $78 million over two years left on the books after this season.
Korkmaz requests trade from 76ers
Veteran forward Furkan Korkmaz would like to continue his NBA career outside of Philadelphia. Korkmaz has requested a trade away from the Sixers prior to Thursday’s deadline, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Korkmaz has been largely outside of the Sixers’ rotation this season, as he has played a total of just 255 minutes to this point. As a result, he’s hoping to land a larger role elsewhere.
Given the fact that he isn’t playing much, the Sixers wouldn’t be opposed to moving Korkmaz, but it’s fair to wonder what they could get in return for the forward given the fact that his trade value isn’t very high. However, teams — especially contenders — are always looking for additional floor-spacing, so perhaps a deal will get done. For what it’s worth, this isn’t the first time that Korkmaz has requested a trade away from Philly. He also did so during the 2018-19 season. His request wasn’t granted at that time, and he went on to re-sign with the Sixers twice — in 2019 and 2021.
Bulls showing little interest in trading LaVine
The Chicago Bulls are one of the must-watch teams heading into the deadline. For all the talent on the roster, they have not been able to put things together, and with more than half of the season now gone they are still stuck under .500 at 25-27 — a mark that has them in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
All possibilities are on the table for them. They could trade everyone, get a boatload of future assets and go full rebuild; they could tinker around the margins to try and improve the offense; or, they could stand pat and hope this group can figure things out enough down the stretch to jump into a top-six spot, which is still within striking distance.
The latter two options are the most likely scenarios because they’re the easiest and would ensure the team remains competitive. A report from Jamal Collier on Monday that the team has shown little interest in trading Zach LaVine despite interest from the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks would reinforce the idea that the Bulls are leaning toward keeping this core together, at least for the rest of the season.
Wizards want to keep Beal, Kuzma
If Bradley Beal hasn’t set the record for most trade rumors about a player that has never actually been traded, he’s going to do so soon. The veteran guard signed a new five-year, $251 million deal with the Washington Wizards last summer that includes a no-trade clause, but the team’s middling form means there’s always whispers about whether he’d force his way out. Beal seems content in D.C., however, and the Wizards have no interest in trading him, according to The Athletic.
Kyle Kuzma is another Wizards player who has been in headlines this month, and his future is bit more cloudy given that he’ll become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is enjoying a breakout season. However, despite the possibility that he could walk for nothing in the offseason, the Wizards have shown no interest in trading him, per The Athletic. Kuzma has said he could “100 percent” see himself re-signing in D.C., and the team is confident of getting a deal done.
Jazz have turned down offers for Conley
Though the Utah Jazz have come back down to earth since their incredible start, they’re still 27-27 and right in the mix for a top-six spot in the congested Western Conference. Though they sit in 10th place entering Monday’s slate of games, they’re only two games back of fourth.
As a result, the team is still holding on to key veterans such as Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley, whom just about everyone expected to be on new teams by this point. Danny Ainge and Co. are holding firm, however, even in the face of strong interest from other clubs.
Earlier in the season, the Jazz turned down a significant expiring contract for Conley, according to Tony Jones. In addition to his importance on the floor, they see Conley as a vital part of the locker room, and the point guard and his family are happy in Salt Lake City.